Child-only health insurance and the unintended consequences of health reform

The first wave of health insurance regulations related to the health reform bill passed earlier this year is set to go into effect on September 23. The change getting the most attention involves children with pre-existing conditions – specifically, a child cannot be declined or have pre-existing conditions excluded from coverage (in the form of a “rider”). The unintended consequence of this change, however, is that many carriers will no longer offer child-only policies. Obviously if a child is to be covered on a plan with a parent, then there is no problem, but many carriers will no longer offer child-only policies.

Why? Because these policies now present too much risk. (After all, the health reform bill didn’t do a thing to address the actual cost of healthcare!) Right or wrong, whatever your ethics, that’s the reality of the business.

This is a shame because child-only individual policies have been a great way for people to save money on health insurance, because it is often much cheaper to get this kind of policy than it is to pay the premiums to participate on a group health plan (particularly with a small employer).

While we’ll leave it to others to discuss the pros and cons of the new regulations and the insurance companies’ response, there is one action point. If you’re interested in a child-only health insurance policy, contact us SOON!